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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

EXPERIMENT IN STATE CAPITALISM            83

other taxes cameŚwould be compelled to sell their grain, kill their
cows, and cut down trees in order to obtain the cash. Moreover, in the
preceding system of military draft, the people took turns serving for a
."period of years, whereas in the new system the people were compelled
to pay for exemption every year, including years when they would not
have to serve.

Together with the new excise tax and the income tax, this draft
exemption tax must be viewed principally, as a new means to raise
revenue from the people, rather than to relieve them of the draft for
service, since the people were drafted for military training under
another name, the paochia. The excise tax was a tax on the profits of
business-men, based on an examination of their books. The income tax
was not an income tax in the modern sense. I call it income tax here
-because it was a system of compulsory registration of a citizen's income
^and property as a basis for allocation of tie other taxes. It was like the
income tax also in the sense that the people had to make returns of
their income and property, under pain of defrauding the government.
In the fight over this reform it was stated that after the order was
issued, there was "not a chicken or a pig on a farm, or an inch of soil,
or a beam or rafter in a roof" that was not reported and registered with
the government. This last measure, instituted in 1074, was short-lived
because Wang soon went out of power; and even before its suspension
Su Tungpo refused to enforce it in the district under his control on the
.ground that it was illegal.

What gave the lie to Wang Anshih's desire to relieve the people from
military draft, professed in the preceding draft exemption tax, was the
paochia system. This is clear because both the new paochia system
and the draft exemption tax were promulgated in the same month,
December, 1070. The government took away the burden of military
service from the people with one hand by making them pay for the
"exemption", and put it back on the people with the other. The paochia
was a system for collective guarantee under the law of families living
in the same neighbourhood. Each ten families were organised into a
poo, and each fifty families formed a great pao. The members of a poo
were to be collectively responsible in cases of harbouring criminals and
thieves; and in cases of such crimes as murder and rape they were
bound to report the circumstances to the court. Able-bodied persons
in each great pao were to be organised into a company for military drill
and training, a family with two able-bodied males contributing one,
and a family of more than two males contributing more in proportion.
These were to leave their farms for drill every fifth day, the five-day
period being the ancient equivalent of the week, dividing a month con-
veniently into six periods. Thus instead of taking the sons of the
families to the army as in the regular draft system, this reform brought